Heart attack, surgery or even investigations for heart disease always comes as a shock, but I have found in my experience that women  are even more surprised.  Heart disease is tended to be viewed as a male disease, and most women think that they will be in the 70’s before they might experience any problems.

Whilst this perception of  “it’s a male thing” can be true, heart disease is no respecter of gender and many women under the age of 60 are finding this out.   The youngest woman that I personally know who has had a heart attack  is just 31 years old.  In Britain the number 1 killer of women is heart disease.  The statistics from the Brtish Heart Foundation show that a women in Britain is three time more likely to die from coronary artery disease than from breast cancer.

It is therefore vital that women are aware of the signs and symptoms of having a heart problem.   The symptoms need not just be chest pain.  Experiencing breathlessness for activities that you once could do easily are often put down to “I’m not as fit as I used to be”.  That may be true but it should be reported to your Doctor.

The heart when under stress will often send out messages to other parts of the body, the most common being the stomach.  Most people will put this down to indigestion.   Unfortunately this is not always the case.

I have also found that women are especially bad at taking action when they do experience chest discomfort, never really registering that this discomfort should be taken seriously.

Many women needlessly die every year because they did not take action straight away.  If a woman discovers her man having chest discomfort/pain she will take action and get help immediately.  If it’s the other way round she say “I’m fine, it will go away, don’t fuss” and he does as he’s told until he realises that its more serious and by then it can be too late.

My message to you NEVER ignore unaccountable indigestion, if your usual remedies don’t work, the discomfort and pain doesn’t ease,  and you feel unwell  and/or have any of the following; look pale, have nausea, then ring the emergency services straight away.

If you would like to watch a 9 minute video of two women talking of their experiences click here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvInIIPRuQA

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